39th Kyodan General Assembly Held in Tokyo

The 39th Kyodan General Assembly was held Oct. 28-30 at the Ikebukuro Metropolitan Hotel, with 374 of the 400 delegates attending. There were also 13 overseas guests in attendance. The theme was “Building a Kyodan that Evangelizes: Promoting Evangelism Rooted in a Unified Faith.” The first part of the program was opening worship, with Nishi-Chiba Church Pastor Kishita Nobuyo giving a message entitled “Putting Our Hope Only in the Lord.” The business meeting began with the approval of the agenda, followed by the moderator’s report. Kyodan Moderator Ishibashi Hideo reported on the various issues of main importance to the Kyodan as “an evangelizing Kyodan, the number one mission of the church”: funds for evangelism, the nurture of pastors, the church’s statement on the nuclear incident, and the statement issued by the International Conference on the East Japan Disaster, the Kyodan’s relationship with Okinawa District, and the Japan Christian Center building.

 

The election process for the three main officers, which started on the evening of the first day, began with the election of the moderator, and Moderator Ishibashi Hideo, pastor of Koshigaya Church, Kanto District was elected for a third term. In his greetings he said, “I take my reelection seriously, and I will seek to promote a Kyodan ablaze with evangelism—evangelism based on a unified faith.” In the election of vice-moderator that followed, delegate Sasaki Michio, pastor of Shizuoka Church, Tokai District was elected. This is the second time that Sasaki has been elected consecutively as vice-moderator since the 36th General Assembly. As is the custom for the election of secretary, the moderator and vice-moderator nominated the present secretary, Kumoshikari Toshimi, pastor of Akita Sakura Church, Ou District and those in the assembly hall approved his election. In his greetings, Secretary Kumoshikari said, “During my two terms of four years, I have been shown that the Kyodan is supported by the prayers of various churches and by the prayers of overseas churches. Furthermore, I want to relay the thoughts of those serving in rural areas and those in small-membership churches to the entire Kyodan. I want to share with the entire Kyodan that the rural churches are cheerfully evangelizing as rural churches.”

 

Among the agenda items this time, the focus was on “the Bill for Abolishing the Kyodan Subsidies for District Activities.” The various views in favor of the abolishment included the opinions that “there is no official place for reporting the finances and the concrete usage of the subsidies” and “district activities as such have become unclear, and we want to switch over to a new system in order to realize actual district activities.” Opposition to the bill included the view that “if Kyodan subsidies for district activities are abolished, this will be linked to the abolishment of many churches.” Other such views were expressed, but as finally voted, it was decided to abolish the Kyodan subsidies for district activities. This was accepted, and the “Bill on the Institution of Rules for Evangelism Funds” was introduced. During the consultation, revised bills were put forth by two members, resulting in the vote to approve the revised bill proposed by delegate Omura Sakae.

 

Since the 35th General Assembly, a fellowship event for the laity has been held after the completion of business on the second day, but at this general assembly, a meeting was held under the title “Reorganization of the National Laity Organization.” The National Laity Organization had lost its true nature due to the Kyodan’s internal dispute in 1969. This time, the National Laity Organization was reorganized after 45 years, through being “One in the Lord” and a “mutual fellowship of believers,” and has as its goal contributing to the promotion of the Kyodan’s Gospel evangelism. Its general assembly will be held the year between each biennial Kyodan General Assembly. (Tr. RT)

 

—Kato Makoto, executive secretary

第39回教団総会開催

 加藤 誠

 

10月28日(火)から30日(木)にかけて、池袋のホテルメトロポリタンを会場に、議員総数400名中374名の出席をもって第39回日本基督教団総会が開催された。主題は「伝道する教団の建設―信仰の一致に基づく伝道の推進―」である。最初のプログラムは開会礼拝で、木下宣世西千葉教会牧師により「ただ主にのみ望みをおく」と題 した説教が取り次がれた。。その後、組織会、議事日程が承認され議長報告が行われた。石橋秀雄教団総会議長は教団の大切な主な課題で ある、「伝道する教団-教会の第一の使命-」、伝道資金について、教師養成について、東日本大震災について、原発事故に関する声明と国際会議の声 明、沖縄教区との関係について、日本キリスト教会館についてそれぞれ報告した。

一日目夜から始まった三役選挙はまず、議長選挙が行われ、石橋秀雄議長が三選された。挨拶では「再選を 重く受け止め、伝道に燃える教団からさらに、信仰の一致に基づく伝道の推進を目指したい」と述べた。続いて行われた副議長選挙では 佐々木美知夫議員が選出された。佐々木議員は第36総会に続いて2度目の副議長選出である。書記選挙は慣例により、議長、副議長により雲然俊美現書記が推薦され、議場はこ れを承認した。雲然書記は「2期4年の間で、教団が諸教会の祈り、海外の教会の祈りに支えられていることを教えられた。また、いわゆる地 方・小規模教会に仕える者としての思いを教団全体に伝えたい。地方は地方なりに明るく伝道していることを教団全体で分かち合いたい」 と挨拶した。

今回の議案の中での焦点は「教区活動連帯金Kyodan Subsidies for District Activitiesを廃止する件」であった。廃止に賛成の意見としては「連帯金の具体的な運用や会計の公 式な場での報告がない」「連帯が自明の事ではなくなっており、真の連帯を実現させるためにも新制度に移行したい」等の意見があった。 反対意見としては「連帯金が廃止されると多くの教会の廃止につながる」等があったが、採決の結果、教区活動連帯金の廃止が決定した。 それを受けて「伝道資金規則制定に関する件」が上程された。協議の途中2議員から修正案が出され、採決の結果、大村栄議員の提出した 修正案が可決された。

第35総会以来、2日目の議事終了後に信徒交流の集いが開催されてきたが、今総会では「全国信徒会再結成・発起人会」との名 称で開催された。全国信徒会は1969年の教団紛争によって実体を失った。今回、45年ぶりに再結成された全国信徒会は、「主による一致」「会員相互の交わり」を通して、教団の福音伝道推進 に寄与することを目的とする。総会は教団総会の行われない年に開催することとした。